It was such a wonderful surprise Friday morning to open my mail and find out that my submission to be a resident artist at Hospitalfield in Arbroath, Scotland was successful! Located outside a little fishing village on the North Sea about an hour and a half’s drive from Edinburgh, Hospitalfield was founded in the 13th century by Tironesian monks. Back then it was a hospise for those who had either leprosy or the plague. In 1665, it was purchased by James Fraser. Wikipedia tells me that Sir Walter Scott stayed here in 1803 and 1809 and used it as the model for ‘Monkbarns’, in The Antiquary published in 1813. Patrick Allan-Fraser later gifted the property to be an arts center. Hospitalfield was Scotland’s very first School of Fine Art and the first art college in Britain. Many prominent Scottish artists have spent time here, either studying or as a resident. They include Joan Eardley, Peter Howson, Wendy McMurdo, Callum Innes, Alasdair Grey among a highlighted list of others. Today, the center encourages artists of all ages, disciplines, and backgrounds to apply to work together in their beautiful natural lit studios.
My project examines the transience of time using ceramics, photography, and weaving. I will be photographing the landscape many times during the day while I am living there. Those images will be translated into colour slips for my bottles. Eventually, there will be 56 finished works representing the time spent in Scotland. These are part of a much larger installation for an exhibition at the School of Art Gallery, University of Manitoba, in the summer. It is especially inspiring that a jury, consisting of individuals who did not previously know me or my work, should give my project a vote of confidence. For me, personally, it comes at a time of transition in my life and work and to say I am excited about this opportunity would be an understatement.